The digital age has changed every industry, and real estate is no exception. The internet is now the first step the homebuyer takes in the buying process, and social media is the main intercommunications channel for upwards of 1 billion people worldwide. Google, Trulia, Zillow, Facebook, the real estate company website are all opportunities to grab the potential buyer's attention. Unfortunately, many agents fail to take the right steps that will generate leads, and help convert them once they are discovered. Here's an abbreviated selection of social media strategies that can help increase an agency's social ROI.
Too many real estate professionals consider social media as an ad or announcement channel. If you're practicing your digital marketing this way, just quit - and save a lot of time and money. Social media is a two-way street, a set of reciprocal channels where "conversations" are held. Sure, you can create ads and boost them to target audiences, but then what? If you are not answering questions, providing needed information, and ready and able to assist your potential clients - how can a return on your investment even happen? If there is one rule you must follow to be successful at social marketing, really being engaged with your following is the most crucial strategy of all. Reciprocity is a key concept for understanding social behavior involving complex interactions between parties. The subject is actually a scholarly endeavor, but for the sake of simplicity, the reader just needs to understand that the "bull horn" technique of social media interaction will convert no one. Be real with your audience, this is rule #1.
There is an adage that says think globally, act locally, which clues us to one great way to leverage social media for real estate. So, creating a strategy that revolves around a location makes sense. Your social effort should include demographics and statistics as a general rule, but the client is going to want to drill down farther when they plan on buying a home. Rich expression of "place" is important for agents to convey a neighborhood and a market. Try shouting out to city accounts and to civic organizations that can add value to your posts, and be sure and link to pertinent information about the town or area where a property is located. It's also a good idea to share local news, school announcements, and especially photos of the town where your properties are listed. Another good tip is to make good use of Instagram integrated with Facebook in order to show the surrounds where your homes are listed. Keep in mind that 46% of Americans use social media as a news source, and their most interested in the local scene.
At the end of the day turning a lead into a sale will always be about educating the client. This is the "job" after all. Making buyers smarter will always pay off, and social media is the perfect digital medium for just that. Sharing pertinent news, facts, and even the pitfalls of homebuying with potential buyers creates a chain of value that drives those leads farther down the marketing funnel. Providing the best information, in the most accessible place, to the greatest number of people seeking homes - this is what social media for real estate should be about. In combination with your company blog, and with related news from your area, your social channel can be a chain of value people will soon depend on. Another tip here is to be part of local groups that are resident in social media in order to expand and make more solid your social community. Share what groups find interesting or important, and post your valuable content to these groups.
Roughly half of the people using social media watch either Facebook or Youtube videos for more than one hour every week. If you're not marketing your homes through video, you're missing out on the emotional connection that simple photographic ads cannot create. While it may be tempting to save on the expense of creating a captivating video, there is no real savings when the effectiveness of the medium is considered. Over half of the marketing professionals worldwide say a video is the form of content with the best ROI. In addition, this report at <promodo> shows that video generates 1,200% more social shares than text and images.
Most of the businesses using social media as a marketing tool know that platforms like Facebook are very advanced customer relations management (CRM) platforms. However, surprisingly few operated their networks like a healthy CRM operation. This is particularly true for the real estate sector, as agents strapped for resources or time prefer to prioritize social beneath other more traditional marketing and CRM methods. This is unacceptable if you've got any ideas about getting leads and converting them in the digital realm. Effective social media strategies do not just post information and leave it. The most successful agents provide quality content, report important news, and cultivate a community that is responsive. Your audience is on social media to communicate and to be part of the larger conversation unless you nurture this human interaction you are missing the whole message, not to mention a basket of good leads at the tail end of your network.
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